Laundry list of excuses again don’t add up after another Democratic defeat

Florida Democrats have entered their comfort zone- the season of making excuses. Democrats in Florida are incredibly proficient and adept at one important aspect of political campaigns – generating creative talking points in justifying losing campaigns. Once again in a big race a Democrat has fallen short, and once again no doubt those in and around the party (but perhaps not the FDP itself, though they might have some creative “spin”) will be making excuses. Mayor Alvin Brown’s loss in the Jacksonville Mayor’s runoff to Lenny Curry was not completely unexpected, but still avoidable.

Democratic activists and elected officials who live in the isolated South Florida bubble may not realize how important this race was. Jacksonville will be next year the largest city in the nation with a GOP Mayor. The Mayor of Jacksonville is a visible position that dominates local media in one of the nation’s 40 largest media markets, and a city where Democrats need to run close to even to win statewide elections.

For all too long leaders in the Democratic circle within Florida have valued status over competence, title over hard work and loyalty over winning. When push came to shove, Brown lost because the GOP and former RPOF Chair Lenny Curry had a better ground game and the Democrats were unable to boost turnout numbers to where they should have been today.

The 2008 Obama success in Duval County  which was followed up by the 2011 Brown win, now seems long ago. Given the success Florida Democrats have had at making excuses, and the same old operatives and consultants who have rarely been part of high-profile tough wins we are going to preview some of the spin and excuse making coming from the elite class of Democratic operatives that will start tomorrow.

Here are some potential excuses we might hear from Democratic insiders:

1- Brown’s progressive tilt cost him with moderately conservative white voters the Democrats need to win.

2- Jacksonville is a conservative city. We gave it a go in a tough place.

3- President Obama’s unpopular policies including Health Care (which ironically Democrats in the legislature are making a big deal about) cost Brown.

4- The GOP had too much money.

5- Progressives making noise in other parts of the state about Mayor Brown’s policies cost him and the Democrats the election.

6- Brown was a flawed candidate whose local operatives let him down.

7- The media and prominent bloggers were too negative on the Democrats campaign.


The truth is something entirely different:

1. Brown’s unwillingness to support progressive candidates, the Democratic statewide ticket or same-sex causes until late cost him.

2. Voter turnout was down due to a combination of factors, but all reflect poorly on the Democrats ground operation.

3. Brown’s messaging on economic issues, which saw a late conversion to populism was not genuine thus depressing enthusiasm.

4. Unless clear splits occur within the GOP, Democrats find it impossible to win tough, toss of the coin type races anywhere in Florida.

5. The media was fair in this election.

6- Progressives actually closed ranks behind Brown for the most part despite his snubs of Obama and Crist.

7- Much like 2014 which saw a large dip in statewide Hispanic turnout percentage when compared to 2012, this Mayor’s race had Democrats less motivated than Brown’s first election in 2011.

We will have much more on this fallout from this race in the coming days.






  1. Fla Dem · ·

    Democratic Party had ZERO to do with the loss. Brown’s local consultants and embrace of Corrune Brown which turned off moderate white Democrats were the culprits.

    The efforts of the FDP actually did more to close the gap to within striking distance than anything else. In reality this was an FDP win and those who are in the know and have numbers to back it up can prove it.


  2. naoya6161 · ·

    Seems to me that the main reason Brown lost was that he ran a bad campaign more than anything else.


  3. · ·

    There is another factor to consider in addressing the failure of the Florida Democrat Party. To date there is no one willing to oust Corry Westbrook from membership. She attempted to be the first legal resident of Washington, D. C. to have her name on a Florida ballot. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted a criminal investigation that determined that multiple felonies had occurred. Florida law dictates that those who engage in voter fraud are eligible for civial and criminal penalties. The FLDE report is now available through a public reords request to FDLE. Thye lead investigator and his supervisor recommended her arrest and proseution for multiple feloines. The report is identified as:FP-032-002.


  4. Democratic Operative · ·

    Brown lost because he is a bad candidate with a bad campaign. Nothing to take from this other than that. Those who like to bash the party from the left have no leg to stand on here. Everyone knows it was Brown himself who lost it. He’s a terrible candidate. The idea of running to the left COST him votes. COST him moderate D’s and the whole “souls to the polls” thing made even liberal white Dems uncomfortable.

    I am sorry Kartik but this election PROVES you are wrong about the progressives. Brown ran as a black progressive and that SCARED OFF voters who are actually DEMOCRATS. Turnout dropped BECAUSE OF THE ISSUES HE RAN ON and he ended up losing.

    It is that simple.


  5. True Blue DEMOCRAT · ·

    Brown’s loss is because of HIS campaign.

    The FDP did its best. I agree they were responsible for the closed gap.

    Late shift to the left to turn out blacks ended up turning off whites.

    Thus our loss.

    That and this blog and allied groups that forces ideological purity and pushes our party left where we cannot connect with mainstream voters.


  6. Curry announced his intention to run for Mayor of Jax on Apr 30, 2014, over a year to make sure a Dem held that office. And as I said on March 25, 2015 after Primary, Brown looked like he was going to come up short. If Brown was a such a bad candidate, why support him and not run someone else who could have won.


    1. naoya6161 · ·

      Not a bad candidate, a bad campaign. There’s a big difference between the two…


      1. “Brown lost because he is a bad candidate with a bad campaign” See above.


      2. naoya6161 · ·

        Hmm…I’m talking about your point, rather than the other guys. But let’s go back to your original point. Who would we have run in his place?


      3. naoya6161 · ·

        And there are times when there are candidates with the right views…it’s just that they don’t know how to articulate that properly in a campaign, and that’s why they lose.


      4. I would think that would be a question for Democrats in Duval County. After all it would need to be someone they would support. And show up to vote for.


      5. naoya6161 · ·

        According to my sources, Brown was the only candidate who filed this time for the Dem nomination…


  7. Blue Dog Dem · ·

    Brown wasn’t a horrible candidate in 2011 folks…


  8. Tampa Bay Demo · ·

    Great article and spot on.

    Keep hiring the same consultants and expect different results? As Peter Scorsch tweeted last night, how many people the democrats hire actually have experience winning these sorts of races? None that we employ.


  9. Working class Democrats are not socialists. There are many Democrats that are unhappy with the ACA and the fact that Dem leadership is doing all it can to throw open the borders to illegals which depresses wages. If the Democratic Party is really for the working man they would be protecting jobs for citizens. When an immigrant takes an American’s job he can’t move to Mexico or India for work, those countries protect their jobs market. Until the Dems start working for the average citizen they will continue losing elections.


    1. Concern is noted.


    2. Indrid Cold · ·

      Yes, if only Democrats were Republicans instead, you would like them better. Got it.

      Also, everyone who cashes a Social Security check, or takes a Medicare or Medicaid benefit is a socialist. We can probably assume that includes a lot of “working people.”


      1. Since when is protecting the working class supposed to be a Republican attribute? While it is true that social safety nets are a step in the direction of soft socialism, kitchen table Democrats do not consider themselves socialists. When did throwing open the borders and the labor market become a progressive policy? We used to try to protect America jobs. What changed? Is this one of those “progressive” blogs that sneers at the working class? Marxists are you? Only interested in the proletariat as a tool to be manipulated for your power grab?


  10. Fla Dem · ·

    It’s only fair to point out brown was dead before the FDP saved him in the primary and made a race out of the runoff.


  11. The Observer · ·

    I do not know anything about Brown but it seems North Florida has caught the same disease that South Florida Democratic insiders have had for years. Back room deals and consultants who know what’s best for the rest of us. Until we cut off the money to these people nothing will change and we real Dems. will continue to be on the outside looking in.


  12. get over it · ·

    The FDP lost a winnable race again.


    Stop the spin and excuses.


  13. The party of no accountability. If it’s the largest city with a GOP mayor shouldn’t DWS say something?


  14. Jonathan · ·

    The excuses flowing from the party’s privileged insiders are sickening. Time and again when given the opportunity to win a big race they fail. 2011 in Jacksonville was nice, but it now looks like a fluke. How about taking out a Governor whose approval rating never climbed above 45%? Unable to do that! How about beating the most polarizing Attorney General in the nation? Didn’t even try! How about simply matching the numbers for Gov and Pres in legislative races? Fell miserably short!

    This crew has to go otherwise nights like yesterday will continue into perpetuity.


  15. Ron Baldwin · ·

    I am convinced that the definition of the word “TURNOUT” is “a word that Florida Democrats do not and can not understand.” I remember back in 2005 the county DEC Chair gushing about the County’s 74% Democratic tournout in the 2004 Presidential election. There are about 5,000 more registered Democrats than registered Republicans in our county. I rained on her parade with a reminder that the Republican turnout in that election was 82%. This is not a new desease in Florida.


    1. Chas Tailore · ·

      Turnout’s great, but it’s not incumbent on Democrats to elect whatever poor candidate is selected for them by leadership actively selecting poor candidates, is it?

      Is it not rather incumbent on the party and the candidate to bring something to the table that makes Democrats want to vote for them?


      1. Ron Baldwin · ·

        I must confess that I am a Yellow Dog Democrat and would vote for a yellow dog before I would vote for a Republican especially considering the recent history of the Republican Party. But to elect the former Chair of the RPOF as mayor of Jacksonville puts him in a powerful position to accelerate the demise of the middle class. Someday all the so-called “Job Creators” will wake up and find that they have lost most of their customers because those customers are rediscovering what poverty was like in 1934 (the year I was born)..


  16. Gee..the FDP sure doesn’t get much for the million dollars they’ve funneled to Brown over the years! I wonder where else that money could have been used more successfully…..


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